Press - Review

NW 01:26:01 27-01-2022


Sofia, January 27 (BTA) -


Multiple publications, including Duma, Telegraf, 24 Chasa and Monitor focus on Wednesday's Government meeting regarding the NATO-Russia situation. Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said the Council of Ministers had decided to prioritize the Bulgarian strategy completely towards a deescalation of the tensions between NATO and the Russian Federation, as well as towards tapping absolutely every opportunity for a diplomatic solution to this conflict. "Our defence strategy will focus and will be based on the Bulgarian Armed Forces. They will play the leading role, meaning Bulgarian troops, Bulgarian command and real Bulgarian military leadership. Regrettably, Bulgaria's Armed Forces have not been financed sufficiently and adequately over the years. At present there are distinct shortfalls," said Petkov. He stressed that dealing with them will be one of the Government's priorities. Petkov also said that there is a plan in place to evacuate Bulgarian diplomats from Ukraine, if the need arises. Petkov noted that the negative consequences in the event of a military conflict between Russia and Ukraine will most likely be the field of energy. However, he assured that the government has clear plans for what needs to be done to protect the Bulgarian population in the event of sanctions, especially in the gas sector. Actions are being developed with the Minister of Energy, and there is communication with the EU. The Prime Minister did not want to reveal more details and said that such will be given during the closed part of the meeting. However, he assured that Bulgarian households will have an alternative in this scenario. No Bulgarian soldier will take part in a conflict or operation on the territory of Ukraine or another country without these decisions being taken by the National Assembly, stated Defence Minister Stefan Yanev. 24 Chasa adds that Petkov said that Bulgaria will support sanctions against Russia if the EU enforces such.

Trud, 24 Chasa and Monitor quote former prime minister and GERB leader Boyko Borissov, who said that if the government decides that NATO forces come to Bulgaria, GERB will support it. ''If there is a conflict over any of our policies at the moment, we will suffer heavy losses,'' said Borissov, adding that only the powerful defense of all as one will stop the aggression. "We must be as resolute as possible. This is not about our relations with Russia," Borissov stressed, noting that so far the leadership has not been competent.

Trud's front page focuses on Sports Minister Radostin Vassilev's decision to replace the management of the State Lottery. The daily speculates that these staff changes might unveil certain interests for the millions in the lottery. Trud explains that Minister Vassilev single-handedly appointed new leadership without an open procedure, and appointed There Is Such People (TISP) party MP Aleksandar Todorov for the post of State Lottery Executive Director. The Sofia City Court has suspended the registration of the new management after a complaint by the current members of the Management Board of the lottery Hristo Yovov and Gosho Ginchev. On Tuesday the National Assembly finally accepted the resignation of Todorov, but the debate around his resignation and appointment was nearly two hours long and focused on Todorov's declaration of conflict of interest. Duma and 24 Chasa detailed the debate.

Trud, Monitor and Telegraf write that Vazrazhdane's MPs protested the green certificates by demonstratively entering the parliament without presenting the requested document. . "We are fighting for the requirement for green certificates to be dropped for all Bulgarians. These certificates are unconstitutional ", said the Deputy Chairman of Vazrazhdane, Tsoncho Ganev. The party's chairman, Kostadin Kostadinov, said he had no certificate and compared the measure to a 1941 ban on Jews entering the National Assembly building. 24 Chasa adds more detail into the procedure for entering Parliament, including a test laboratory out front and a lack of consequences for not presenting a a certificate.

Trud, 24 Chasa and Telegraf report that Prime Minister Kiril Petkov is traveling to Brussels on Wednesday, in parallel with the visit of Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev to the European capital. Petkov, along with Justice Minister Nadezhda Yordanova and Culture Minister Atanas Atanasov, will answer questions from the LIBE Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights Monitoring Group at the European Parliament. These questions include the issue of Petkov's dual citizenship and its unconstitutionality when he was caretaker economy minister in 2021, Petkov's personal position on calls for the dismissal of the Prosecutor General (Ivan Geshev) and his ''understanding that such calls do not constitute a direct violation of the principle of separation of powers or an attempt to provide political pressure on the judiciary ". In a similar direction is the only personal question to the Minister of Justice, Nadezhda Yordanova, to whom European lawmakers are asking for "further clarification of her statements regarding the Prosecutor General, Ivan Geshev", and if the prosecution magistracy can be pressured through its budget. The LIBE MEPs also demanded that the Bulgarian Minister of Justice clarify her views on the rule of law, separation of powers and independence of the judiciary.

Telegraf and Trud writes that GERB/EPP MEP Emil Radev was unanimously re-elected Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) in the European Parliament. "I appreciate the trust that has been given to me and I accept it as a great responsibility. This is not just a personal success, but a success for the Bulgarian delegation in the EPP ", commented Emil Radev after his re-election.

Monitor, Duma and 24 Chasa write that the MPs from the Parliamentary Committee on Energy adopted on Wednesday at second reading amendments to the Energy Act, proposed by the deputies from the ruling majority, which reduced the members of the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) from 9 to 5.

Trud frontpages a humorous photo published by the US Embassy's Facebook page of Ambassador Herro Mustafa and a statue of Ben Franklin, along with the text: ''Ambassador Mustafa held a TOP SECRET meeting with Ben Franklin to discuss confidential issues! Ben once said "Trickery and treachery are the practices of fools that have not wits enough to be honest.Ф He's right! There is no need to listen to conspiracy theories about УsecretФ diplomatic meetings; just follow our Facebook feed for the latest on U.S.-Bulgaria relations!''.


Monitor, Duma and 24 Chasa write that natural gas is expected to be 18 per cent cheaper in February than in January. This became clear during an open meeting of the EWRC, which discussed a report in connection with the application submitted on January 11 by Bulgargaz EAD for approval of a price for February at which the public supplier will sell natural gas to final suppliers and to persons who have been issued a license for production and transmission of heat energy. In connection with the tension between Russia and Ukraine, the head of Bulgargaz assured that the supplies of natural gas from Gazprom will continue. "Last week, the board of directors had a conversation with colleagues from Gazprom. We have no worries, no sign that there will be interruptions," Pavlov said. Meanwhile, Telegraf reports that the Burgas Zoo may not be able to keep its animals from warmer climates much longer, due to the high electricity bills it can no longer pay, while the publication's online version notes that the Rila monastery will monitor and reduce its heating.


24 Chasa reports of a proposal by There Is Such a People (TISP) to grant special status and additional funding to six Bulgarian historic towns: Pliska, Veliko Tarnovo, Veliki Preslav, Vidin, Silistra and Nikopol. GERB was also preparing a bill on the old capitals in the 44th National Assembly. TISP also suggest that May 2 be celebrated as the Day of the Old Bulgarian Capitals. This is the day of St. Tsar Boris the Baptist, and the baptism of the Bulgarians that took place in Pliska. The main goal of the bill is to create a new tourist route in Northern Bulgaria, which will unite the old capitals. It is planned that the old capitals will be twinned with cities outside the territory of Bulgaria, which were also Bulgarian capitals. GERB's project 5 years ago was stopped due to Vidin's desire to be included in the list. The current proposal has not yet been consulted with local authorities. DT//